Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Best Refried Beans EVER (according to me!)

My family has been in panic mode since we ran out of refried beans in the pantry a couple of weeks ago. To say that my family likes beans would be the understatement of a century. They eat burritos like anyone else would eat PB and J. Thankfully beans are darn cheap! And when you can them yourself, they become even cheaper...and yummier!

I use the basic Dry Bean Recipe from the Ball Blue Book (aka the canning bible) but instead of leaving them plain, I add one (or more depending on how hot you like them!) whole seeded jalapenos. Delish! They are comparable (or better if you ask my husband!) to a particular popular brand of Spicy Refried Beans.

Here is what they look like in the jar after pressure cooking them. See the jalapenos? Pretty, huh? So to get them to refried stage, just dump the entire contents of the jar in a pan, heat them up, and mash them to the desired consistency with a potato masher or fork. It literally takes me 5 minutes to do this. I also add a small amount of salsa when I'm heating them up for even more kick.

You can't mention beans without mentioning gas. As far as that goes, we all know that the more beans you eat the less gas you have. So, I pretty much have the most regular family on the planet! :) But, one trick I do is this: one of the steps when canning any dry beans is to soak them overnight. To lessen the gas, I dump out my overnight water and refill with fresh water before canning.

Dry beans are super easy to can, they just take a long time to process. It takes me about 4 hours for an entire batch -- heating them up, put them in the bottles, processing them, and the cool down. The other day I canned 2 eight pound bags of dry pinto beans, which yielded me 56 pints. For the rest of you that is WAY more than you'd need in a lifetime, but for my family that is about a 6 month supply. (I told you we eat a lot of beans!) For one days work I now have a HUGE supply in my food storage. Can't beat that!

For those of you that are afraid of the pressure cooker, I'm here to say Don't Be!! Just read the directions, follow them, and everything will work out just fine. Here are great instructions from the Ball Website.


  1. I need to do some beans and some more soup starter. I just bought a bunch of cheap potatoes. So hopefully early next week....so yummy all of it.

  2. After I move (and am in my own place again) I'm going to take up canning. I've always wanted to do it but have just never taken the time to learn. We love refried beans.

  3. Hooray for home canned beans!!!! I agree with you that they are YUMMIER.

    I have trouble still with the right bean/water ratio. Sometimes I get dried beans at the top, sometimes extra water. I am getting closer--but yours are RIGHT ON! Any tips?

    Fun to see your photos--I love looking at all of them lined up on the counter.
    "the bean canner" in TX

  4. I stopped by to check out the sewing but these beans look great! I've done tons of canning but it's always been to preserve fresh summer produce, never something like dry beans. I am definitely going to try this. I will continue to watch for more tips too. Thanks!

  5. I have a 40 or 50 lb bucket of pinto beans in my food storage, I really need to start doing this! Don't have a pressure canner though. Did you buy yours used or new? How much was it?

  6. I'm going to have to try these. I bet my family would love them. My hubby recently bought me a pressure canner, but I'm too scared to use it yet. This post makes me want to jump in and give it a go!

  7. I don't have a large pressure cooker, for canning, but I do have a large blue speckled canning pot (the Ball brand one)...how long do I have to process these? Or can I even process these in that pot?
    My parents have a large pressure cooker that I could borrow, if need be, but I'd rather do it in my large pot if I can....



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